Louisa May Alcott

(29 November 1832 – 6 March 1888 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Quotations

  • ''Housekeeping ain't no joke.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. The cook Hannah, in Little Women, pt. 1, ch. 11 (1868).
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  • ''Conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Mrs. March, in Little Women, pt. 1, ch. 7 (1868). To her daughter Amy.
  • ''A little kingdom I possess,
    Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
    And very hard the task I find
    Of governing it well.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. "My Kingdom," st. 1.
  • ''People don't have fortunes left them in that style nowadays; men have to work and women to marry for money. It's a dreadfully unjust world.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Meg, in Little Women, pt. 1, ch. 15 (1868).
  • ''Love is a great beautifier.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1869).
  • ''Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Laurie, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 12 (1869).
  • ''It takes two flints to make a fire.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Laurie, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 16 (1869).
  • ''Rome took all the vanity out of me; for after seeing the wonders there, I felt too insignificant to live, and gave up all my foolish hopes in despair.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Amy March, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 16 (1869).
  • ''What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Jo March, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 23 (1869).
  • ''When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life. I suppose it's the discipline I need; but it's rather hard to love the things I do, and see them go by because duty chains me to my galley. If I ever come into port with all sails set, that will be my reward perhaps.''
    Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. As quoted in Louisa May, ch. 17, by Martha Saxton (1977). Written in 1873. Alcott, who had remained single and worked hard to support her family—especially her parents, was wistful about what her sacrifices had cost her. She died of natural but unclear causes two days after the death of her father, writer/philosopher Bronson Alcott.

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My Kingdom

A little kingdom I possess
where thoughts and feelings dwell,
And very hard I find the task
of governing it well;
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

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